Davit Kezerashvili

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Davit Kezerashvili
დავით კეზერაშვილი
Davit Kezerashvili.jpg
Minister of Defense of Georgia
In office
November 10, 2006 – December 5, 2008
Preceded by Irakli Okruashvili
Succeeded by Vasil Sikharulidze
Personal details
Born September 22, 1978
Tbilisi, Georgian SSR, USSR
Political party National Movement - Democrats

Davit Kezerashvili (Georgian: დავით კეზერაშვილი) (born September 22, 1978) is a Georgian politician, who from November 10, 2006 to December 5, 2008 was the country's Minister of Defense.

Biography[edit]

Kezerashvili was born in Tbilisi[1] to a Jewish family. After migrating to Russia, he went to Israel in 1992, where he lived with his grandmother in the Kiryat Ben-Gurion neighborhood of Holon and attended high school. After a year and a half, he left Israel and returned to Georgia. He studied law and international relations at Tbilisi State University.[2]

After working in the Justice Ministry he became an assistant to Mikheil Saakashvili, then the Minister for Justice.

Kezerashvili then worked in the Finance Ministry from 2004 until November 2006, including a role as chair of the financial police force. On November 11, 2006, he was appointed as Georgian Defense Minister, replacing Irakli Okruashvili. He was dismissed from this post amid criticisms over the Georgia-Russia war on December 5, 2008.[3]

Political track record[edit]

Kezerashvili is a founding member of the liberal United National Movement, and contested an election in 2002 under their banner.[4] He is also a close personal ally of the party's leader, Georgian President Saakashvili.[5]

Shalva Natelashvili of the Georgian Labour Party criticized Kezerashvili's appointment, arguing that he "has never served in the army... doesn't even have the title of sergeant and has no clue about the armed forces."[6]As chief of the financial police, Kezerashvili received criticism for heavy-handed tactics in raiding businesses.[7]

Kezerashvili was dismissed from his post of the defence minister on December 5, 2008 during a major cabinet shuffle. His dismissal was expected in the aftermath of Georgia's defeat in the 2008 South Ossetia War.[8] Davit Kezerashvili is succeeded by former ambassador to the US, Vasil Sikharulidze.

Detention[edit]

In January and February 2013, multiple criminal charges, including corruption, were brought by the new government of Georgia against Kezerashvili. In October 2013, he was detained in Aix-en-Provence, France, pending hearing on extradition to Georgia. Kezerashvili's defense lawyer in Georgia, Shota Mindeli, said charges against his client were "politically motivated".[9] In February 2014, Kezerashvili was released under electronic monitoring and the French court refused to extradite him on account of what "appeared to be politically motivated" request from Georgia.[10]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.government.gov.ge/eng/mtavroba1172497171.php
  2. ^ Itar-TASS (13 Nov 2006), Territorial unity remains key goal of Georgia-new defense minister
  3. ^ More Cabinet Shake-Ups in Georgia. New York Times. December 5, 2008.
  4. ^ UNA Georgia information service (accessed 15 November 2005) Saakashvili-National movement bloc
  5. ^ Civil Georgia, Anjaparidze, Zaal (NoIrakli Okruashvili proves that one's as good as none in politics
  6. ^ Black Sea Press (15 November 2006), Georgian Messenger
  7. ^ Civil Georgia (17 June 2005)Financial Police Grilled by MPs over High-Handed Tactics
  8. ^ "Georgian defense, foreign ministers fired". The Associated Press. 2008-12-06. Retrieved 2008-12-09. 
  9. ^ "Tbilisi Seeks Extradition of Ex-Defense Minister Detained in France". Civil Georgia. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "French Court Rejects Extradition of Kezerashvili". Civil Georgia. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 

See also[edit]